11/16/08

My Week In Film (11/10 - 11/16)

This one's late too. Fuck off again?



Fallen Angels (1995)*
(Directed by Wong Kar-Wai)

This is my second viewing of the film and it's greatly improved! Now, all the thematic bullshit is even clearer and not only do I find some of the loneliest (yet sexiext moments ever) but also some of the funniest (I would never refuse Takeshi Kaneshiro's ice cream). At first, it took a little bit of time to get used to the almost garish lighting but once that's over, it honestly becomes the world's best music video (upon initial viewing, I didn't even remember people talking). The movie just looks so fuck!ing good. There's so many great images (all tied with the perfect song) and sequences and after a while you start to give up and follow its crazy logic. It made my head spin Smiley

★★★★



Quiet City (2007)
(Directed by Aaron Katz)

Another good film from Aaron Katz. I thought this would be a hell of a lot more visually-oriented but that only truly manifested itself in the random shots of the city and trees (held more than needed cuz they truly look good, hi pix!). I loved all the earthy colors and warm tones going on and how slight it felt. Nothing extremely important going on here, just two people getting to know each other. That's fine. It's very pleasant and I'm glad I watched it, if only to watch them awkwardly dance. Anyway, it was good enough.

★★★




Friday Night (2002)
(Directed by Claire Denis)


What the FUCK was this? An almost wordless tone poem about two strangers and how they meet on a friday night... This looked amazing. Like, seriously, aesthetically perfect. There's an almost sensual quality to the camera's gaze as it fetishizes the smallest details of every day life. The smallest things are noticed; a glance, a shift in movement, etc. It seems that's all the movie is. Well, fucking sign me up. The film also plays like what I'd imagine one of those city symphonies is like. Overwhelming use of music (drowning out everything except little bits of city noise) + shots of night-time Paris looking gorgeous. Paris, je t'aime and all that, you know? And I love how little characters are given their own sort of personality and mini-stories are told in just a few shots about people we see for seconds, like the young girl playing pinball and the couple at the restaurant. Anyway, whatever. Shit is sexy. w00t for middle-aged sex!

★★★★




Persona (1966)
(Directed by Ingmar Bergman)

The best movie of all time? The ultimate Bergman film? Maybe? Probably? Awesome moviefilm? Well, it's certainly striking. What impresses me the most is how clear, direct and pure the film is... even when dealing in avant-gardisms. From the opening montage and going to the smashing of the 4th wall, it remains fascinatingly alert but never out of reach. It isn't some impenetrable film. It's grounded in human emotion and psychology. The performances are completely unreal and complement so well to all the thematic shit going on. Anyway, this feels like the most cinematic of the Bergman films I've seen ( I skipped Silence which people tell me is good as well). The others kinda hit different spots for me (Winter Light utilized cinematic space to great advantage, and Glass Darkly struck me with its deliberate staging and theatricality of sorts...). This feels the most complete and brings up most the themes in his other work but without direct address (it's in the implications). Plus Sven is da man!!! hmmm, did this film just get better as I wrote about it?

★★★★



Eaux D'Artifice (1953)
(Directed by Kenneth Anger)

What a sensory experience! Shit's all drenched (bad pun) in blues and blacks (along with that fan!). It follows a woman as she goes up and down stairs and as everything with an orifice on it shoots/flows/whatever water. It's pretty, pretty. Especially when the drops of water become so abstracted that they blur and look like shiny diamonds being thrown. fuck whatever context it needs to be appreciated, just look at the film's final image of an almost stormy fight between water and darkness. Looks great!

★★★




Made in Hong Kong (1997)
(Directed by Fruit Chan)

There's a lot of stuff that's kinda off about this film for me. There's lots of cliched stuff abount, and it really does have atrocious music. But I can get behind it for the most part. At its heart, it is not a gang film or a film about violence or anything like that. It's simply a film about young people. Autumn Moon is at the center of it all. He deals with gangs but doesn't join one. He's an outsider. The film depicts him at this really cool guy in some moments while in others he's just a gawky little kid trying to be cool. At one point, we're shown a fake killing and then we're shown what happened to make clear the contrast between the physical and mental state of Autumn Moon. The film is shot in a great kinda DIY Wong/Doyle style. At points, it comes off silly and amateurish but sometimes, the film gets it right and we're left with some pretty good images. Mostly, I just appreciate the fact that it was actually trying something visually even it felt discordant at some points. The film sometimes deals in cliches but at points it really does get down the heart of the matter and we come to realize that the environment around them has beaten down these kids so much that they feel like they have no other choice. It's about hating adults, wanting to be free from everything and then realizing that it's all bullshit. Yeah, I liked this. Plus, he looks pretty cool right here:



★★★



Postman Blues (1997)
(Directed by Sabu)

Wow, this movie starred That Guy. I've been wondering who the hell this guy is. I keep seeing him in movies... Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise. But, on to the movie. Easily to me the most interesting thing about the film is its treatment of the police. They're portrayed as morons who will quickly jump in and label someone a drug runner/murderer/sexual deviant and then go after them without any substantial proof (or a misunderstanding of the facts). They're buffoons and they're treated as such. That's all on the background though. Center stage is the story of a postman who's fed up with his job and while making the rounds meets up with and old friend who just happens to be a Yakuza. From then on, misunderstandings, traditional meetings taking place in the rooftops of buildings, more Yakuza, more silliness, more of everything. It's very inconsistent in its tone but it almost seems to be willful. There's also a love story that feels very dumb and cliched ('cept for one part... in the picture above) (and, of course, the girl is dying). I was really into the film at the beginning when it was quieter and less concerned with throwing in wacky stuff (although that was amusing in and of itself). There seemed to be a lot of potential here and I'm not sure how it all fizzled out as the movie went on but it did. Anyway, I think the best part was the totally random (and awesome) Chungking Express part as seen in the following screencaps:



Then:



The ending seems to end on a strong note even if it's kinda saccharine. Is it a condemnation of the police force or did it seem like the right way to end it after you've painted yourself into a corner....? I don't know. Maybe one of you could tell me.

★★1/2



Wanted (2008)
(Directed by someone I can't be bothered to look up)

No.

1/2



I love me some Asians!!!11!

Jhon's Movie of the Week is... Fallen Angels

5 comments:

ham.ie.zah said...

dont mind that ur late. im just glad ur still updating. I luv reading ur blog, did I mention that?

great to know u love Asian movies, hav u tried watching Yasmin Ahmad's films like this, or this, or this or even this?

p/s: this is worth ur time, I promise.

ZILLA said...

fuck YOU, Wanted is great shit!

ketch said...

Yeah, wanted wasn't THAT bad! hahaha

roujin said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I've been aware of her films for a while now. I think Mukhsin got released in the states this year. Looked pretty good.

Wanted sucks hard.

Bill Thompson said...

Wanted does indeed suck hard, glad to see you are correct once in a great while.